The worst part about keeping your Android phone secure—besides the slight hassle—is having to sacrifice fun, convenient little lockscreen shortcuts. A newly-granted Google patent shows a potential solution, if they ever decide to actually use it.
The images pretty much speak for themselves, but the trick is to have a pattern unlock with options on the last node that let you pop open to a specific app. Clever, right? It hasn't shown up yet, but maybe we'll see it in the next big Android revision. Then again, plenty of patents amount to absolutely nothing for we, the unwashed end-users. It's (always) a toss-up.
Granted, pattern lock is the biggest joke of a "secure" lockscreen you can get, but it's a little better than nothing at least. But let's face it: pattern locks are fun, and a little added convenience would only make them cooler. [USPTO via Engadget]